Tonia Todman: Australia’s queen of craft puts historic farmhouse on the market

152 Donnelly Rd, Kyneton - for herald sun real estate

A look at the exterior of Tonia Todman’s farmhouse in Kyneton.


Australian television icon and ‘queen of craft’ Tonia Todman is selling the historic farmhouse she and husband Michael Dowding lovingly refurbished after a devastating fire.

Todman is known for appearances on Healthy, Wealthy and Wise, Good Morning Australia and Making It Australia, plus as an author and former Australian Vogue and Australian Women’s Weekly journalist.

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TV chef Iain Hewitson & TV personality Tonia Todman from TV show

TV chef Iain Hewitson & TV personality Tonia Todman from TV show “Healthy, Wealthy & Wise”.


The couple purchased their 4.05ha farm, a seven-minute drive from the heart of Kyneton, in 2004. The original homestead was built in the 1840s and extended in 1910.

Todman said buying the home was “a moment of total madness, probably”.

152 Donnelly Rd, Kyneton - for herald sun real estate

The property spans over 4 hectares.


152 Donnelly Rd, Kyneton - for herald sun real estate
Tonia Todman and her dog named Rose on her property near Kyneton.

Tonia Todman and her dog named Rose on her property near Kyneton.


“It was on the market for 18 months, as every viewer was frightened by the amount of work it needed,” she said.

However, the couple transformed the five-bedroom home into a “very happy house” with English-style gardens where Todman ran cooking, craft and gardening classes.

She’s also hosted up to 100 guests on special occasions.

A 2018 fire partially burned down the house after the old roof shingles heated up near a chimney, leading to “four years of anguish” in an extensive rebuilding effort.

152 Donnelly Rd, Kyneton - for herald sun real estate

A living space with fireplace.


152 Donnelly Rd, Kyneton - for herald sun real estate

152 Donnelly Rd, Kyneton - for herald sun real estate

The pair used salvaged materials from the homestead, including chimney bricks on the herringbone floor and bluestone behind two fireplaces.

“I said to my architect, if he didn’t give me a proper workable laundry, I’d never speak to him again,” Todman joked.

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152 Donnelly Rd, Kyneton - for herald sun real estate

152 Donnelly Rd, Kyneton - for herald sun real estate

152 Donnelly Rd, Kyneton - for herald sun real estate

On of the home’s bedrooms.


Apart from the top-of-the-line laundry, the house has soaring ceilings, a library featuring a Cheminees Phillippe fireplace, a 1200mm Artusi cooker in the kitchen, and a main bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite.

The veranda has views to Mt Macedon and Daylesford’s lights at night.

n24sr302 a1 Kyneton chef Tonia Todman prepares to make Chicken Roulade

Tonia Todman prepares to make Chicken Roulade


152 Donnelly Rd, Kyneton - for herald sun real estate

The island bench has wine storage.


Also outside, the home has a separate self-contained cottage, an 1848-built barn, an orchard, two 130-year-old pear trees and “the Hilton of chicken houses”.

The couple’s grandchildren love visiting the resident rescue horses and catching yabbies in the dam.

RT Edgar Macedon Ranges-Kyneton agent Jodie Alcaraz said the house matches “the warmth of Tonia and Michael”.

“You feel comfortable here, the aspect out to the garden is just a picture,” Ms Alcaraz said.

The property is on the market with a $2.9m-$3.1m asking range.

152 Donnelly Rd, Kyneton - for herald sun real estate
152 Donnelly Rd, Kyneton - for herald sun real estate

Expressions of interest close 4pm, November 17.

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